The PMC-EIGHT Awarded a Sky & Telescope Hot Product for 2018
All in all, the Explore Scientific EXOS2-GT with PMC-Eight mount is an excellent choice for the visual astronomer as well as a first-rate economical option for astrophotography. Moreover, ASCOM compatibility combined with Explore Scientific’s open-architecture approach to the PMC-Eight provides the tech-savvy user with the opportunity for future creative applications.
Even though the EXOS2-GT mount with PMC-Eight can be controlled by any ASCOM compatible software system (a widely accepted standard for handling communication between components of astronomy equipment), Explore Scientific also offers a specific control application called ExploreStars„¢ that runs on any Windows 8.1 or 10 system or Android and can be downloaded from the Microsoft app store at no charge. (Versions of ExploreStars for other operating systems will be available soon.) This application controls any PMC-Eight mount by means of an intuitive graphical interface.Among other features ExploreStars offers both 2-star and 3-star alignment procedures, educational information and images of the more popular celestial objects, and a choice of over 80,000 objects for viewing. The communication between the PMC-Eight mount and a PC/laptop running ExploreStars can be via a wired or wireless connection, or via a Windows based Tablet wirelessly thus freeing the user from being tethered to the mount.
The object database used by ExploreStars is called the Celestial Database. It encompasses a wide range of celestial objects including those in the Solar System, the Messier Catalog, the New General Catalog, and the Index Catalog, as well as a collection of over 70,000 stars. The Celestial Database also includes educational material and images for many of the more popular objects. This database is available as a separate updatable component of the ExploreStars software system. It can expand over time and any ExploreStars implementation can easily be updated by downloading a fresh copy of the Celestial Database. In fact, the educational material and images within the database can be customized by each individual user using Microsoft Access.
Here is a list of most of the ASCOM software packages available for use with the Explore Scientific with PMC-Eight mounts: ACP; APT; AST / ATC & Ricerca (Omega Lab); AstroArt; AstroMB; Cartes du Ciel / Sky Chart; CCD AutoPilot; DeepSky; Deepsky Planner; DFM Engineering; Earth Centered Universe Pro; EasySky; Eye and Telescope; Project Pluto; Hallo Northern Sky; Maxim DL; MaxPoint; PinPoint Astrometric; Prism; Sequence Generator Pro; Sidereal Technology; The Sky; SkyMap Software; SkyTools 3; Star Atlas PRO; Sky Observer; StarryNight; Stellarium; Virtual Moon Atlas; and WorldWide Telescope.